Lev Leshchenko releases autobiography “the Songs chose me,” the publishing house “Eksmo”. Behind the scenes of Lev Leschenko has become quite different than on stage under the spotlights. Loves practical jokes. Loves sports — so much so that once he was ready to devote my life to him and not the songs… Autobiography reveals the unknown Lev Leshchenko.
We published several brilliant chapters from the book with small reductions.
photo: Gennady Cherkasov
“Lucky charm” Pugacheva
Once invited me to “Golden Orpheus”, but not as a participant a few years ago, and as the guest of honor. To refuse made no sense, it was an honorable, flattering, so I readily agreed and went.
But I want to tell not about it, or rather not only about that. This time at the international festival “Golden Orpheus” (1975) from our country had to go little-known, but extremely talented singer, which had yet to convince everyone in its absolute exclusivity, Alla Pugacheva, which was then little more than twenty-five years.
…To the “Golden Orpheus” Pugacheva was already one hit, “Sit down, pookaem”, which she sang in her peculiar manner. Already one of the song you could see her extraordinary charisma and artistry. Therefore, the contest “Golden Orpheus” can be considered a litmus test which was to determine her future. She was either to return with victory and famous all over the Union, or again to wait for the opportunity to Express themselves, which, by the way, may never be submitted.
…Remember our bright and unusual Alla stirred the blood of a good half of our men’s “delegation” in this contest. And one “good fellow” without further ADO unceremoniously gave her to understand that he is not averse to tie and more familiarity. Alla then he all stood up, and addressed it to him personally, and all at once:
— Boys, we came to work here, or tricks to turn?! Imagine that there are neither men, nor women, but only comrades in the work, i.e. colleagues. Agreed?
Such a categorical statement, but still in full view of everyone, instantly sobered the gentleman, and the other intemperate companions, who immediately passed:
— Allochka, of course, of course, no problem! — went back on their word philanderers. — We promise complete peace and privacy. Don’t be nervous, get ready, and we will always support you.
Alla performed on the “Golden Orpheus” with the song “harlequin”, which, frankly, before that, was unremarkable, while its arrangement has not been the Pavel Slobodkin. Thanks to him, the song is just explosive, and the hall after her performance was moaning with delight! But I think most of all surprised was a massive success with the author Emil Dimitrov, who does not claim to world fame.
After the number Pugacheva festival competition can be considered closed, because hardly anyone has doubts, who will go home with the Grand Prix.
On the last day of the festival was to be held the final concert, where usually the winners, and then invited the musicians from different countries (honored guests), including me.
Last was Carl Wayne from the UK won the first prize. After his performance, the hall roars, Wayne demands an encore. At this time, is preparing to go on stage Pugacheva. Preparing complex, requiring a degree of technical precision. On stage she had to fall on a giant mechanical arm.
Hall continued to applaud, so Wayne decided on another performance, but his thoughts, of course, can’t read tehobsluzhivanie the staff that runs this machine, i.e. “hand”. As soon as the one who controls her, heard the applause subsided, he began his work. A giant hand, which effectively is Alla, slowly lowered to the stage. At this time, Wayne takes the first notes and the staff, realizing his mistake as he tried to return to Alla again behind the scenes, fails. So it continues to sink slowly under the gentle song of an Englishman. The situation is a stalemate, behind the scenes of real panic, we are all horrified. In addition, Wayne remains in the dark about what was going on behind his back, while the cameraman in front of him marks him not showing go back, which he does. I can’t even imagine what he experienced, saw suddenly behind him on the same stage of another artist.
Surprisingly, he reacted instantly. Continuing to sing, slowly walked over to Alla and as if nothing had happened gallantly offered her his arm to help to get off of this makeshift “pedestal”. We are behind the scenes fainted from excitement and in stony silence watching the developments. Pugacheva was in a matter of seconds to decide how to behave: to leave behind the scenes or stay on the stage. Both the decision was questionable. Wayne to get out of this, to say the least, an awkward position, continues to sing, but turning to alia, if she addresses his “Serenade”. But we understand, and Alla for sure that it will be strange to look, if it’s performance will remain standing beside him, silent as a statue. So Alla gently removed to back of stage and sits there on the steps. Wayne, it seemed, breathed a sigh of relief, but at the end of his song, back to it, so connecting the story and as if to emphasize that Allah is not here by accident, sings her final lines. But Wayne didn’t know Alla, because she is not the person who always goes on about! Suddenly she confidently takes from his hands the microphone, and she sings the final line: “Oh, love may!”
The audience scream and applaud for ten minutes. Even Wayne seemed to end up pleased with this improvisation. The public considered all of this monstrous failure of the program to be quite successful Director’s finding. Pugacheva remained on the scene, but Wayne is gone, and without interference, gave her to perform the hit of the festival “harlequin”. When Alla was already backstage, we almost smothered her in hugs and congratulations. Needless to say, already then she showed himself to be an extraordinary person and a gifted artist. We, her colleagues, and the audience was in raptures.
Alia then for a long time called me “my lucky charm”. Even when she’s a few years went to Sopot, she was very happy to learn that I was invited again as guest of honor. “Now I just have to win!” laughing, she said. And she was right: she was unanimously awarded first place for bright, vivid, deep rendition of the song “kings can do Everything!”.
As Leonov has a crush on American prostitutes
In 1980, lake placid became the capital of the winter Olympic games. To support our athletes went to the US and us — leading cultural figures. Then really without artists does not do any significant event, well, Yes contemporaries remember.
This time, the company selected excellent: Joseph Kobzon, Vladimir Vinokur, Levon Oganezov, Lyudmila Senchina, Yevgeny Leonov, and your humble servant.
Men, in addition to Yevgeny Leonov, were put in one quadruple room. There was a feeling that we are living in a Dorm. But, amazingly, despite all the inconveniences, it was fun, or as they say now, cool. Of course, such people, in the same room.
We lived in a big communal apartment, in the morning, taking a turn in the bathroom. Iosif Kobzon due to his fatherly nature took care of the other members of the team. He rose early all quietly, trying not to Wake anyone. Quickly brought himself up, collected on the table from those stocks that we used the Soviet man brought with him, and already awoke us with his stentorian voice:
— Rise, my sons! Breakfast is on the table. Who was the first to go to the bathroom, that good! The rest are not far behind, take place.
Immersion heaters, tea, coffee, sausage from home — that’s serving our table. A quick Breakfast and get on the bus, which drove us to the arena where we were supposed to support and inspire our athletes.
On this trip, always remember the many stories. Remember how we were taken by minibus on haunts of Vice of new York. To enter we were not allowed, Yes we are feared, you never know who or what lies in wait for the Soviet man in these unfriendly streets. Bright neon advertisements, announcements of pornographic performances, it seemed, all aimed to confuse the uninitiated soul to the simple Soviet artist…
On the bus I seemed to have completely dozed off, watching the flashing lights of the big streets in front of the eyes. As if I gave the feeling of someone’s wild men’s shout.
— Prostitutes! Look, prostitutes!
I rasleela eyes and see that Yevgeny Leonov, and not just him, stuck to the glass and there is something to look out for. Looking along the road and at the intersection of roads, there are openly dressed girls, and obviously not waiting for the bus. “So you have…” — flashed in the minds of everyone. In the USSR, then not only were not prostitutes, but sex, in recognition of our politicians. I, having seen the window, he was ready to rest, suddenly again Leonov shouted:
The driver, wait, stop! I need to get acquainted with a culture alien to us.
— What? — do not understand our trusted people from the Embassy.
What the hell! Prostitutes want to get a closer look, that’s what. When … … — resentfully said Leonov, and his eyes laughing.
— The bus should get.
Hung a tense silence.
— So be it, we’ll slow down, just suddenly said the man from the Embassy. — Able to open the window. But better not to go! You don’t know them and we know. Now as flies swarmed, not to be dismissed!
As soon as the car stopped, Leonov jumps up from his seat and abruptly opens the door… All already fainted. But he never thought to go, and, standing at the bus pristupu as shout.
Hey! American prostitutes! Heartfelt greetings to you from Soviet filmmakers and artists!
And that’s all! Jumped to his seat, and we drove off, but was laughing all the way, under the reproachful eyes of man from the Embassy.
In General, Yevgeny Leonov, if not itself generate funny situations, possessing a Grand sense of humor, then all kinds of absurdities found themselves it.
In the same lake placid to our company, which at that time was acting lawfully, even someone else’s place is not occupied, suddenly again a COP:
— Where are you from?
— From the Soviet Union, we Russian.
And the COP is smiling, looking at us with wide eyes, but clearly most of all he is interested in Leonov. Although his gaze and friendly, it is clear that Evgeny Pavlovich uncomfortable under it.
And he still, still smiling, pointing to the vast Fox hat Leonova:
— Here is the hat! Never such saw. And who is this man?
Is our famous artist of theatre and cinema.
At the policeman burst out laughing right in our faces.
— What are you telling me?! Which artist? Who? It? Yes, he had the face of a KGB agent. They you are everything.
We are all excitedly trying to convince overly curious COP. It is not clear, or not successful, but in the end he decided to leave us alone, but not Fox hat.
Cap super! You know what, sell it to me. Move him if he wants to sell me this miracle! A hundred dollars for a hat!
— Not-not — stubborn Evgeny Pavlovich, — what do I get? My bald head is cold.
— Well, — decided a COP, or two hundred!
— Not-e-e, and over two hundred and not give up. Cold you have won what is.
Never sold the hat. The policeman suspiciously glared at him, probably, and did not believe that the artist. Only the KGB officer may have such exposure, not to sell the hat for a fabulous sum.
The story would the and end, if Evgeny Pavlovich did not remember about it in one of the expensive stores, hoping to buy gifts, Souvenirs.
Evgeny Pavlovich stood around a mannequin dressed in a fabulous dress.
Oh, that would be my wife such a dress! — said Leonov, bypassing the dummy circles. — Oh, as if she was in it looked great. The dress is exactly to my Wanda stitched.
Evgenie has already requested to wrap up, as his gaze falls on the price tag.
Is what is going on! — he waved his hands, unable to believe in the three figures on the price tag.
Then he remembered his Fox hat and regretted not sold it to a policeman. After all, the artist for the whole trip was supposed not more than ninety dollars, which, of course, there are already some pennies.
— Gave me this hat! Fox! Would have bought then deerskin… Oh, — he waved his hand. Upset our Evgeny Pavlovich, and his hat a long time could not look.